11 Thoughts That Mean You’re Not As Happy With Your Partner As You Might Think
Even if your current dating situation seems to be going well — you're hanging out, having fun, having sex, etc. — it's still possible that you might not be happy with your partner, and thus not truly happy in your relationship. This can be a gut feeling, where you just know it isn't right. But it can also be revealed by several nagging thoughts that mean you're not as happy as you think.
"Usually these types of thoughts are windows into your true feelings about your partner," certified counselor Jonathan Bennett tells Bustle. For example, if you cringe when your partner texts you, or really want to cancel your date-night plans, then it might be a sign that your heart's not in it. But, thoughts like these might also mean you're just not having your needs met, so you're feeling a bit upset or resentful as a result.
Luckily, there is a way to tell the difference. "I’d recommend exploring those thoughts and being honest with yourself," Bennett says. "Examining the doubts and questions can give you great insight into parts of the relationship that might not be working or need changing. Or, it could mean that it’s time to move on. But, simply pretending that everything is perfect won’t make you happy in the long run." Here, a few thoughts experts say may mean you aren't, actually, all that happy.
1. You Don't Feel Excited About Having Sex
It's totally OK if you don't want to have sex, or if your parter's occasionally not in the mood. Not everyone's into it, 100 percent of the time — and that's NBD. But if you catch yourself delaying sex, or feeing disinterested every time your partner initiates, it may be an issue worth looking into.
As Bennett says, "If you’re never in the mood and have to 'convince' yourself to have sex out of obligation to your partner, then you need to find out why the passion is missing. If the spark is completely gone, then it’s hard to be truly happy in the relationship."
Talking with your partner is a great place to start. Do they feel the same way, too? Then it might be that your spark as dwindled, and that you can work on together. But if they aren't willing to listen, or don't want to make any changes, it may be time to move on.
2. You're Always Excusing Their Bad Behavior
Everyone has a weird or quirky side to their personality, and it's important to embrace that part of your partner. But if you feel like you're constantly feeling embarrassed around them, or are always apologizing for things they say, take note.
"If your partner constantly behaves poorly, inappropriately, or immaturely and, rather than addressing it, you come up with endless excuses for him or her, it’s a sign you’re not truly happy," Bennett says. "You should be able to embrace your partner’s personality, not have to constantly come up with reasons why you will continue to 'put up with it.'"
3. You've Been Thinking About Someone Else
It's not unusual to think about other people, have little crushes, or wonder what your life would have been like with your ex. What's not so OK? Fantasizing 24/7 about being with someone else when you'er trying to have a healthy relationship.
"If your thoughts are constantly consumed by someone else you find attractive ... then you’re clearly missing something in your current relationship," Bennett says. "This doesn’t have to be sexual fantasies. It can even be just thinking about what life would be like if you were dating that person."
Again, it might mean something is missing from your relationship — like, maybe your partner isn't listening to you the way you'd like them to. So let them know, and have that all important talk, as soon as you can.
4. You Feel A Sense Of Dread When They Text You
Not everyone loves to text, so don't judge yourself too harshly if you hate getting texts, regardless of who sends them. But if you cringe every time your partner calls or texts, do add it to the list of signs you're not happy, since it might have an underlying meaning.
As therapist Kimberly Hershenson, LMSW says, "When your partner calls or texts unexpectedly during the day, you shouldn't have negative feelings." If you do, it might mean you're not that into them, that they're expecting too much of you and you're not OK with it, or that you're just not feelin' the relationship right now. And that's fine.
5. You'd Rather Be Hanging Out With Friends
Spending time apart is healthy for your relationship, as is having separate friends, separate hobbies, etc. But at the end of the day, if you don't look forward to seeing your partner, or prefer doing things without them most of the time, Hershenson says it might mean you're likely not as happy as you think.
6. You've Started Talking To Your Ex
It's great if you want to be friends with an ex. But if you stay up all night looking at their Facebook page, or if you start sending them flirty texts, take note. "If you're wondering what your ex is up to and find yourself looking on their social media pages trying to figure out what they are up to, you are not fully present in your relationship," Hershenson says.
Again, having a heart-to-heart is a great way to get a convo going, to see if you can salvage your relationship. If it does turn out that you just want to move on, go ahead and do it. You, and your current partner, will be better for it in the long run.
7. You're Hung Up On Your Partner's Negative Qualities
The moment you're no longer happy with someone is the moment all their little bad habits become excruciating, instead of quirky or cute. And that's why, if your mood towards your partner's dirty dishes and mismatched socks has drastically changed, it may be a sign.
"When we’re in happy relationships, we tend to focus on the positive qualities of our partner and overlook the negative qualities," Billie Bemis, MS, LMFT, LAC, owner of the Denver Center of Psychotherapy, tells Bustle. "When that focus changes to attention on the negative qualities and you can no longer see past them, you’re probably not happy in your relationship any longer."
8. You Start Arguments Over Little Things
Arguments are a common (and even healthy) part of a relationship, as they can help you and your partner hash our differences, air your grievances, and let your worries be known.
But healthy arguments are way different than nit-picky fights that you start just because you're annoyed or unhappy. As Bemis says, "When we feel happy in our relationship, we can overlook the small things that are annoying. When we’re unhappy, the small things become big things and we’re willing to fight about it."
9. You Haven't Thought About The Future In A While
Without even realizing it, you may have stopped thinking about the future, and how your partner might be involved in it. And that can mean big things. "If you stop talking to your partner about your combined future plans, this is a sign that you may no longer be happy in your relationship," psychic and spiritual counselor Davida Rappaport tells Bustle. "When you stop talking about the future or realize your plans may not include your partner, this is a sign you might actually be considering what your life would be like single, or with someone else."
10. You Feel Less Enthusiastic About The Relationship
If you're having thoughts about what "chore" your relationship has become, then that may be your cue. "If you are no longer enthusiastic about your relationship that can be a problem," Rappaport says. "It is one things to pull away when you have work-related, medical, or family-related stress, but if none of this is the reason, you may need to think about what would make you feel better about being in your relationship."
11. You Don't Feel The Need To Be Accountable To Your Partner
Healthy relationships consist of two people who want to be accountable to each other. So if you're feeling sneaky and super private, and like you kind of want to (or need to) lie about who you're with or where you're going, it's time to reevaluate.
"It doesn’t matter how long you have been in your relationship, if you start being secretive or coming and going as if you were single, it is a strong indication that you are not happy in your relationship," Rappaport says. "Whether you are thinking about being unfaithful or you just want your privacy, it would better serve you to talk to your partner and let them know you need some alone time or time with your own personal friends."
Sometimes, unhappiness can be turned around and fixed, simply by talking with your partner and addressing any issues that have you led you to feel that way. But if you're still having thoughts that pretty much scream "I'm unhappy" and nothing seems to fix them, it may be your time to move on.